At the time of independence in 1947, Pakistan’s pharma industry was not yet developed. Today Pakistan has approximately 400 pharmaceutical manufacturing units including those operated by 25 multinationals present in the country. The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry meets around 70% of the country's demand for Finished Medicine.
Pharmaceutical sales in Pakistan were $1.89 billion in 2011 and are expected to grow an average of 9.5% a year up until 2015, by which time the market is forecast to be worth $2.41 billion.
There are presently 448 manufacturing units in Pakistan and there are 28 multinational companies operating in the country which have a 50% market share, suggesting that the market is quality-sensitive.
Pakistan's drug market is moderately large by Asian standards and bigger than more dynamic markets such as Vietnam, however its annual per capita spending on medicines totals just $10, which is below the regional average. Although Pakistan's pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors are expanding and evolving rapidly, about half the population has no access to modern medicines.
Export of pharmaceuticals is limited, presently worth only $100 million, and these are destined mainly for African, Central Asian and South-East Asian countries. European, Australian and American markets remain beyond the industry’s reach owing to lack of the requisite manufacturing standards.
There is a need for manufacturing facilities in Pakistan that are of standards that would lead the way into the quality segment of the sector with approval of developed regulators such at TGA of Australia, MHRA of UK, the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration. The growth of the generic prescribing in these regulated markets presents great opportunity for quality manufacturing and the demand in the USA will rise exponentially with the introduction of healthcare reform in that country.
Private spending accounts for 65% of total healthcare expenditure sourced through out-of pocket payments, international aid and religious or charitable institutions. Pharmaceutical spending accounts for less than 1% of the country's GDP, comparable to levels in some neighboring countries but above that in some of the South Asian countries.
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